Mayon 'big bang' still possible as clouds hide unrest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2018 08:26 AM

MANILA - Mount Mayon remains on the brink of a hazardous eruption as clouds shroud its sporadic emission of ash and lava, making the active volcano seem restive, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Tuesday. 

"Nand'yan pa rin ang posibilidad na magkaroon ng mapanganib na eruption," Phivolcs director Renato Solidum told DZMM. 

(There is still a possibility of a hazardous eruption.) 

"Gusto ko lang ituwid po ang sinasabing nananahimik ang Mayon -- ang problema lang kasi ay cloud-covered... Pero sa kasalukuyan, napakarami pong lava ang inilalabas ng Mayon since the weekend," he added. 

(I just want to correct reports that Mayon has been restive -- the volcano is merely cloud covered. But in reality, it has expelled a lot of lava since the weekend.) 

Mayon has expelled 54 million cubic meters of pyroclastic materials or about 70 percent of its estimated total load of 80 million cubic meters, said Solidum. 

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Mayon's activity will not trigger an eruption of Mount Bulusan in neighboring Sorsogon province, contrary to some online rumors, the seismologist said. 

The volcanoes' magma chambers or source of molten rock are not horizontally connected, he explained. 

Bulusan is under an "abnormal status", which means that it can have steam-driven or phreatic eruptions, Phivolcs said. 

Mayon, meanwhile, remained under alert level 4, a notch below the highest level, indicating that a hazardous eruption is possible within days, the office said. 

The restive volcano, known for its near-perfect cone shape, has displaced some 81,000 residents and caused overcrowding at temporary shelters, the country's disaster agency had said.